Hannah Bunker »

Critical Balance

College theatre flashback!!…


I can’t even count the number of times I’ve stood in front of a crowd of judges auditioning as an actor. After a while, you become numb to judgements and criticisms, able only to do your best, and hopefully you have what they’re looking for. The hard part is that you’re essentially selling yourself, your type, your look – to portray someone else. It’s a vulnerable spot to live and a reason why I really admire actors. So to a point, there’s only so much you can do. Which means, you’re never going please everyone. You won’t fit the role a lot of the time. It’s nothing to take offense to. You just pick up and move to the next audition.

Those were my days as an actor in college but it sounds like a real life lesson to be learned.

It took me a long time to learn that concept. Realizing that I wasn’t the actor they were looking for was something I took personally for a while. That rejection started draining me, my self-confidence, and my ambition. But then one small moment in an audition set me straight…

They were auditioning the lead female. They had already cast the male lead and he was at the female lead auditions. They narrowed it down to me and one other girl. At the end of the audition, they had the male lead stand up next to both of us to see how we looked together. And I heard them say, “If only Hannah were taller…”

And I was cut.

I had put all of my heart into my audition and they cut me based on my height – something physically out of my control. It was a revelation to me that I can only do my best and that I’ll have to let go of any criticisms toward something out of my control. That makes a lot of life seem subjective based on others’ views and tastes, don’t you think?

Meaning? We’re never going to please everybody.

And that’s okay.

But while becoming numb to criticisms can be an occupational hazard for a rogue since we’re perseverant to what we want to accomplish, ignoring constructive criticisms from a trusted source can be detrimental. It’s important to be able to sift through the different voices, to find the ones of value and wisdom. And when we do have those voices of wisdom, bring them into the circle of trust. (Sidenote: Meet the Parents references are some of my favorites).

We tend to live in two extremes; we get wrapped up in our own agenda or we let someone else’s opinions break us. Let’s work on finding the balance between two – keeping focused on our goals while turning our ears to valued opinions and constructive criticisms.


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